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My Family, My Life.

An Autobiographical Sketch by Mary Merola Scovotti


Edited by James J. Periconi


Copyright 1987 James J. Periconi

Verbal permission given to use this autobiographical sketch in its entirety.


Editor's Preface


This book results from about five taped question and answer sessions I held with my grandmother, Mary Merola Scovotti, in the late 1970's, at her home on Jarvis Avenue in the Bronx.

That was the easy part. The slightest questions on my part led to long discussions by Grandma about the subject, often with almost mind-boggling detail. (To listen to Grandma's discussion of her parents' courtship, for example, you would think she was alive, present at the events, and had a video camera.)

The hard part was transcribing and editing the tapes. First I did so by hand, then by typewritter and finally, in the last two years, by word processor. This last method finally permitted me the freedom to edit, rearrange, and eliminate repetition. I have no secretary to thank, this was all preformed by me, from first to last.

Grandma's own words are vivid. I have tried hard not to add anything, other than transitional words and phrases. I apologize in advance to Grandma and to family members who find any of the stories, in the whole or in part, to be inaccurate. The dates I ascribe to photographs are sheer guesses. Think of this as the first edition of this work. Send me your corrections, additions and deletions for future editions; don't keep them to yourself. This includes you, Grandma! (Additional photographs are welcome.)

My thanks go to family members who gently encouraged me to finish this and lent me photographs, especially cousins Margaret and Tom Warren, and Nancy Greenan, and my brother, Paul and his wife, Ann. Your patience was great, and my delay trying on me as well as you.

This book is dedicated to Grandma on the occassion of her 96th birthday this month, and to the memory of Grandpa, Ross Scovotti.

James J. Periconi
March, 1987





T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S



Editor' Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i


Part I

GROWING UP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..1

A) My parents' courtship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
B) Their early married life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
C) Trouble with an Irishman, and trip to Italy . . . . . . . . .7
D) Return from Italy: a new life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
E) Childhood mischief-making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
F) Going to work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
G) My father's business: my brothers start working . . . . . . .17
H) We leave Papa; my brothers on their own . . . . . . . . . . .20




Photographs

a) Rosa Brigante Merola, c. 1890

Luigi Merola, c. 1920

b) Merola family, c. 1905

Merola family, c. 1920

Part II

MY OWN FAMILY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

A) I meet Grandpa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

B) Marriage and work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

C) Grandpa's deafness: he loses his job and regains it . . . . .34

D) Back on the job: triumph and troubles to come . . . . . . . .41

E) Our new house: life with Grandpa and my children . . . . . .46

F) The children grow up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57

G) Grandpa retires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67


AFTERWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70



Photographs

c) Mary and Ross' wedding, 1909.

d) Mary and Ross, c. 1940 - 1960.

e) Rose, Grace and Louis, c. 1924.

f) The War Years: Louis, Anthony, Mary, Ross and Joe Periconi


To add information or to suggest a change please contact Paul Periconi at Paul_Periconi@Yahoo.Com Thank You.


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